MYTH: Michael Lynk, whose U.N. title is “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,” examines the situation of human rights in that area, concerning any victims, Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Example: “The work that Michal Lynk is doing and the work required by his office is to
report on and monitor the state of human rights in the occupied territories.”
—Sir Geoffrey Bindman, 13 June 2017
FACT: Contrary to what his title says, Michael Lynk does not examine the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Rather, his mandate from the U.N. Human Rights Council—which he embraces—is to investigate only “Israel’s violations.” The U.N. title, which implies neutrality as to the identity of the victim or perpetrator of human rights violations, is deceptive. In fact, the mandate turns a blind eye to both Palestinians and Israelis victimized by human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and others. A more accurate title of Lynk’s position might be “Special Rapporteur on Israel’s violations in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” (For more, see “Mandate to Discriminate,” UN Watch report, March 2016.)
Since Michael Lynk was appointed Special Rapporteur in March 2016, he delivered reports to the General Assembly in October 2016 and October 2017, a report to the Human Rights Council in April 2017 and a series of press releases and statements. In none of these does he mention human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas or other Palestinian groups against either Palestinians or Israelis.
Moreover, Lynk has demonstrated a troubling lack of independence in his research. His April 2017 report to the HRC listed Manal Tamimi, known for spreading antisemitism and advocating terrorism on social media, as a human rights defender. Lynk was forced to remove Tamimi from the list only after the watchdog group NGO Monitor filed a complaint to the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Following are the categories of human rights violations, together with selected examples, which have been systematically ignored by Michael Lynk since the UNHRC named him Special Rapporteur in March 2016.
Palestinian Authority Violations in West Bank – Ignored by Lynk
- Arbitrary Arrest, Censorship: Palestinian Authority arrests at least five journalists and a prominent human rights defender, as part of a crackdown on journalists which also included passage of the draconian Electronic Crimes Law curbing free speech on the internet. (August-September 2017)
- Arbitrary Arrest, Censorship: Palestinian Authority detains journalist for filming PA prime minister’s motorcade passing through Israeli checkpoint, and hold him incommunicado for three days prior to releasing him on bail. (July 2017)
- Suppression of Freedom of Assembly: Palestinian security forces use excessive force to violently suppress peaceful protest outside the Ramallah District Court. (March 2017)
- Torture: Palestinian Authority security forces arrest and severely beat Ahmad Izzat Halaweh who dies shortly thereafter in Jeneid prison in Nablus. (August 2016)
- Torture: Three Palestinians allege they were held incommunicado and tortured by Palestinian Authority intelligence officers for almost three weeks following their April 9, 2016 arrest. (April 2016)
Hamas Violations in Gaza – Ignored by Lynk
- Torture of Juveniles: Hamas imprisons Mustafa Salman, 16, for injuring a young man’s hand in a fight. Salman is detained in a cell with other adults and subjected to torture and abuse by the other prisoners and by police, leading him to commit suicide. (September 2017).
- Torture, Arbitrary Arrest: Hamas agents arrest and torture Mohammed Sufian al-Qassas, owner of internet cafe due to complaints that victim was “insulting god;” victim suffers severe injuries and remains in coma for two and a half days. (September 2017).
- Arbitrary Arrest, Censorship: Hamas detains journalists Fouad Jaradeh and Amr Balousha for “collaborating with Ramallah and misusing technology.” (June and July 2017)
- Extrajudicial Killing: Hamas hangs three Palestinians convicted in unfair military trial for collaborating with Israel. (April 2017).
- Torture, Censorship: Hamas detains and tortures journalist Mohamed Ahmed Othman, seeking the source of a government document he had published. (September 2016)
- Torture, Denial of Due Process: Hamas executes three Palestinians convicted of murder in proceedings which lacked due process and involved torture. (May 2016)
Palestinian Terrorism Against Israelis – Ignored by Lynk
- Calling for Israel’s Destruction: Following Palestinian unity deal, Hamas leader Salah Arouri rejects any possibility of recognizing Israel, stating “we are now in the stage of preparing to eliminate the Zionist entity.” The statement was condemned by by Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace. Michael Lynk said nothing. (October 2017).
- Stabbing Civilians; Inciting Terrorism: Hamas affiliated terrorist murders three members of Salomon family at Friday night Shabbat dinner in their home, following vicious incitement by Palestinian leaders in Fatah and Hamas and mass Palestinian rioting over Temple Mount security measures. (July 2017).
- Praising Terrorism: Hamas praises terror attack in which Israeli border police officer Hadas Malka is killed. The attack was condemned by Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace. Michael Lynk said nothing. (June 2017)
- Rockets at Civilians: Rocket fired into Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip shatters windows and damages car in the Israeli town of Sderot. (October 2016)
- Shooting Civilians: Palestinian terrorists kill two Israelis in separate terrorist attacks —13 year-old girl Hallel Ariel in her home in Kiryat Arba and 48 year-old Rabbi Michael Mark in a drive-by shooting in which his wife and two of his children were also injured. (June & July 2016)
- Suicide Bombing: Hamas carries out suicide bomb attack on Israeli bus injuring at least 19 Israelis. (April 2016)
- Kidnapping: In violation of international humanitarian law, Hamas holds three Israelis who entered the Gaza Strip between 2014 and 2016, as well as the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in Operation Protective Edge. (2014 to today)